IPL 2019: Rahul’s poor form must worry Ashwin

There will a mouth-watering contest between bat and ball when mighty Mumbai Indians will take on mercurial Kings XI Punjab tomorrow at Mohali. With a win against Royal Challengers Bangalore last night, Mumbai is back to winning ways after losing their opener against Delhi Capitals. With a strong show thanks to their batters and wonderful death bowling by Malinga and Bumrah, the momentum is obviously with Rohit & boys.

A joyous Rohit after the victory last night, said, “The way Bum(rah) bowled, he is a legend The way he’s giving consistent performances whether he is playing for India or Mumbai Indians; he is outstanding. Whatever I have seen of Hardik this year, he’s striking the ball very well. For me, it was excepted, what he did. He’s in a good mind space. I’m pretty sure he’ll be delivering for MI consistently. It’s important to get a win in the 2nd game only, sets the momentum for the team. They would be expected to field the same side tomorrow.”

As far as Punjab is concerned, a lot of thinking would have gone in picking the right XI. Amidst ‘Mankading’ controversy, Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin found the going tough in the last match after he opted to bowl with Sunil Narine unleashing the fury early on with a nine-ball 24. KJ Rahul’s lack of form is a cause of concern for Ashwin. The opening batsman was the pick of their players in the last season. Chris Gayle is expected to unleash his hard-hitting while Mayank Agarwal seems to be in very good nick. Ashwin would be hoping for Varun Chakravarthy and Andrew Tye to come good.

NT Bureau